Rainbow Cup: Leinster, Glasgow and Connacht name their teams
Andrew Porter is among another six players recalled to Leinster’s matchday squad
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has brought Hugo Keenan, Tommy O’Brien, Rory O’Lough lin, Ed Byrne, Rónan Kelleher, Michael Bent and Ross Molony into the team for this weekend’s clash. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
Leo Cullen has made seven changes to Leinster’s starting XV from the 21-17 win over Ulster a fortnight ago for Saturday night’s Pro14 Rainbow Cup game against the Glasgow Warriors in Scotstoun (kick-off 8.15pm, live on eir Sport).
Hugo Keenan, Tommy O’Brien, Rory O’Loughlin, Ed Byrne, Rónan Kelleher, Michael Bent and Ross Molony all come into the team, with Andrew Porter among another six players recalled to the matchday squad on the replacements’ bench.
Leinster’s other three Lions - Tadhg Furlong, Jack Conan and Robbie Henshaw - are all rested, most likely with next Friday’s final home game of the season in front of 1,200 fans at the RDS against the Dragons in mind. That will perhaps also be the case for Jamison Gibson-Park and captain Johnny Sexton neither of whom, as expected, are named after upping their training load this week.
In the latter’s absence, Luke McGrath again captains the side in what will be the scrumhalf’s 150th game and this match might also mark a 158th and final appearance for the province by the retiring Michael Bent.
As with Leinster, Glasgow are also in must win territory if they are to retain their hopes of reaching the north v south final on June 19th. Danny Wilson makes three changes to the starting XV from last week’s 27-16 win away to the Dragons, their third victory in a row following their first round loss to unbeaten leaders Benetton and double over Edinburgh.
Hooker Shane Delahunt will become Connacht’s latest centurion after he was selected in the starting XV for the province’s final game of the season against the Ospreys at the Sportsground tomorrow (kick-off 6.00pm, live on eir Sport and TG4).
Delahunt joined the Connacht academy in the summer of 2014, and made his debut off the bench against Glasgow that September before being promoted to the senior ahead of the 2016-17 season.
Caolin Blade and Jack Carty are restored at halfback and Ben O’Donnell is selected on the wing, with Alex Wootton moving to fullback. Bundee Aki, after his return from suspension in last week’s defeat by Benetton, is again afforded valuable game time before the Lions tour.
Leinster: Hugo Keenan; Tommy O’Brien, Garry Ringrose, Rory O’Loughlin, Jimmy O’Brien; Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath (capt); Ed Byrne, Rónan Kelleher, Michael Bent; Ross Molony, James Ryan; Josh Murphy, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris.
Glasgow: Adam Hastings; Kyle Steyn, Nick Grigg, Sam Johnson, Cole Forbes; Ross Thompson, George Horne; Aki Seiuli, Fraser Brown, Enrique Pieretto; Rob Harley, Scott Cummings; Ryan Wilson, Rory Darge, Matt Fagerson.
Connacht: Alex Wootton; Peter Sullivan, Bundee Aki, Tom Daly, Ben O’Donnell; Jack Carty, Caolin Blade; Jordan Duggan, Shane Delahunt, Dominic Robertson-McCoy; Niall Murray, Ultan Dillane; Cian Prendergast, Jarrad Butler (capt), Eoghan Masterson.